PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Shovels have hit the dirt to begin the first phase of an enormous, multi-billion dollar development over the next 10 to 15 years that will be called Schuylkill Yards. The first peak will be a park at the corner of 30th and Market Streets, called Drexel Square.
If Amazon decides to locate its second headquarters at Schuylkill Yards, that would be a game changer, according to (the owner of the land), Brandywine Realty Trust President and CEO Jerry Sweeney.
“Everything we’re doing right now in marketing Schuylkill Yards is to raise the profile of this development throughout the entire corporate real estate world of the United States,” Sweeney said.
All told, Sweeney envisions $3.5 billion worth of development on a 14-acre site next to Drexel University’s main campus, and adjacent to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station. The plan is to renovate the former Bulletin Building, and put up two towers along JFK Boulevard.
Drexel President John Fry says the 1.3 acre Drexel Square will help create a new neighborhood.
“Drexel Square will be Philadelphia’s next signature public space,” he said, “the long-awaited sixth square of our historic city.”
Fry says “if we are lucky,” Drexel Square may one day soon be a gathering spot for Amazon workers.
‘”But, whether or not Amazon comes here, the broader vision of Schuylkill Yards will continue to take shape,” he said.
Fry says the result will be a “more vibrant University City.”